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[177]

To George S. Hillard, Boston.

Saratoga, Aug. 19, 1826.
my dear Hillard,—It is not a week since I detached myself from Court Street and the demesnes that there adjacent lie, and I have lived fast and much, and crowded a space of less than five days with the incident and excitement of a month of common being. I just begin to recognize the sedative influences of the Spring water and Spring tedium, after the disturbing powers of steamboats and, greater still, New York City have ceased their exercise. I have not been able, though much observing these matters, to find any uncommon degree of life or elasticity in the society here, and, let me go further, of beauty either. Indeed, I have not seen a face since I have been here which invited my attention. Some pretty girls there are, because they are young and buoyant and innocent; but none that have beauty's signet. Abram Fuller still leads the dances. He and Martin Van Buren at this moment engross the attention of the United States Hotel.

I left Boston, you know, Monday at one o'clock; but a delay on the railroad prevented the steamboat leaving Providence as early as usual, and we did not arrive at New York till after ten o'clock Tuesday morning. Tuesday forenoon I saw the chancellor [Kent]; talked with him about Judge Story and Mr. Greenleaf, and accepted an invitation to take tea with him; dined with George Gibbs; saw the bookseller Halsted; took tea and passed the evening with the chancellor, and was invited by Mrs. Kent to take a family dinner next day. Wednesday forenoon, visited the burnt district; the Court of Errors, then in session; dined with the chancellor, and then rode in a carriage with him and his daughter and Mr. Ruggles1 to see the outer portions of the city, where man's work gradually fades away into the clear country fresh from God. After that I took tea and passed a pleasant evening with Gibbs and his sister; returned to my lodgings and packed up for departure Thursday morning, at seven o'clock, for Albany, at which time I was duly on board the boat, where I met S. D. Parker, and had considerable pleasant conversation. By him I was introduced to Mrs. Clinton (the widow of Governor De Witt C.), her daughter, and niece, with all of whom I had much conversation, and made myself—but I will not say it, for they had such good manners as to appear pleased even if they were not. Mrs. Clinton invited me urgently to call and see Judge Spencer,—the old patriarch of the law,— with whom she proposed to spend some time in Albany.2 I accordingly called, and was repaid for my visit. The judge looks exactly like Allston's Jeremiah. Friday morning I left Albany for Saratoga; and here I am, on the evening of that day, in a raw, ill-provided chamber, without a carpet and with a pine table, on which I now write. How are all friends? Bright eyes and fair faces?

With love to all my friends,

Ever yours,

C. S.

1 Samuel B. Ruggles.

2 Judge Ambrose Spencer married successively two sisters of De Witt Clinton. He died, in 1848, at the age of eighty-three.

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